Tax Depreciation for Investment Properties

Most investors are aware that their property’s value will only decrease over time. But many investors are not aware of the benefits of this depreciation on investment property. Depreciation can help an investor claim tax benefits. The loss due to depreciation would be partly offset by the tax allowances claimed. A typical rental or investment property would have several components. Some would be fixed and part of the property. Some would be attached or constructed additionally. A property depreciation schedule would enable the right tax breaks to be computed. Let us see how an owner can take the help of companies like Deppro Perth to do this.

The Need for an Accurate Schedule

Different depreciation rates apply to different components of a property. As per Australian tax rules, each type of attracts different tax allowances – a property owner might not have complete knowledge of this. It is also time-consuming and tedious. That is why property owners often entrust the job to competent agencies. This ensures that the tax breaks are accurately claimed.

Calculation of Depreciation on Investment Property

A good agency would have competent Deppro quantity surveyors. These surveyors assess every small and big asset included on the property. This is done in strict accordance with ATO guidelines. The rules laid down by ATO often undergo revisions: Deppro quantity surveyors are always completely up to date with such changes. Therefore, you are guaranteed an accurate calculation of your depreciation with Deppro surveyers. Once depreciation is accurately calculated, the right tax deductions can be claimed.

Investors can easily claim the benefits of depreciation on investment property; these benefits accrue through allowable tax deductions. A well-trained and knowledgeable quantity surveyor from a reputable company can help claim the maximum tax benefits. This also ensures that tax benefits allowed by law are not missed.

property market

How Real Estate Investors Can Benefit From a Property Depreciation Schedule

Real estate is a great investment avenue. But property investors have to deal with depreciation. Every year the value of their property reduces. This is called depreciation. The rate of depreciation that each component of your property is eligible for is different. It depends on the ATO (Australian Tax Office) regulations. The Australian tax depreciation rules clearly specify the different rates. Accordingly, the tax deductions can be calculated and claimed. But for that, a complete schedule of depreciation calculations for every year needs to be created. That is called a depreciation schedule.

Process for Creating Depreciation Schedule

The first step of the process, is to get in touch with a dependable agency. This will help you save both time and effort. They will send you a qualified quantity surveyor of which will list down every single asset on your property. Then those assets are categorized as per the ATO rules. The depreciation schedule is then created with such details. A reputable agency will make the process of claiming depreciation on investment property very easy and convenient.

The Tax Benefits

Once the depreciation schedule is ready, it provides the corresponding tax breaks that are permitted by law. If the schedule has been correctly made, then the tax return will also be accurate. Therefore, there is no chance of double tax getting paid for the same item. Not to mention, you would not miss out on any taxable items. But most importantly, no eligible tax deduction option would get left out. Therefore, you can be assured that the lowest possible tax is paid.

A properly-made depreciation schedule is very important for investors. Otherwise, they can end up losing a part of their profits needlessly. Investors should have an accurate view of the tax savings they are eligible for, and such a schedule can help them.

Do You Need to Make Estimated Tax Payments?

You might be planning to pay advance tax or it might be time for the last tax submission date. Whatever your situation, it is always useful to estimate tax returns in advance, to ensure you plan your finances carefully. Tax returns can have several aspects, depending on your profession and your source of income. So keeping some time in hand is a good idea. Not to mention, you may be eligible for tax refunds from earlier years, so you should take that into account in your tax estimate as well.

Impact of Property on Tax Returns

If you are the owner of a rental or investment property, it will impact your tax liabilities. Every property attracts depreciation as per ATO rules. However, there is an upside, as property depreciation makes you eligible for tax allowances. This reduces your tax when you file your tax return Australia. But to ensure you get this reduce in tax, it is crucial your depreciation schedule has been made properly. This helps calculate the correct tax breaks you are eligible for. However, the current applicable laws must be considered when making the schedule. This will ensure that the property owner doesn’t pay double tax and assist with claiming the maximum deductions possible.

How to Estimate Tax Returns with Correct Depreciation

To estimate Tax Returns with the accurate depreciation, a property and all of its assets must be correctly assessed. This is where a reputable company like Deppro Victoria can help. They have qualified expert quantity surveyors on their rolls; they can help you to make the most accurate property depreciation schedule. Firstly, the surveyors make several field visits to take accurate measurements. This is then used to quantify each asset’s depreciation for each year.

When you wish to estimate tax returns, you need to take depreciation and refunds into account. Reputable companies with skilled staff can help you do these calculations. Instead of wasting your own valuable time, these companies do it all for you!

tax depreciation schedule

Commercial property renovation hacks that add value

As an investor, you want to be up-to-date with market trends and find ways to bring in tenants to your commercial properties. If they’ve sat bare for a couple of years, and looking dates, then it’s time to get renovating. We have a couple of hacks so you can focus on the right areas, where you can make the most money off your depreciation schedule.

Bathrooms

Not just any type of bathroom with a few toilet stalls and basins; looks definitely matter. Offices, shops and restaurants are becoming fancier with their designs. Even gyms have bathrooms worthy of an interior design featurette.

A gym shower and sauna in the USA

Bathrooms are major selling points for tenants in both residential and commercial property. Natural wood elements and lighting paired with neutral tiles is a common combination that never fails to impress. If you own an office block and have the room, fully equipped bathrooms are an excellent selling point. Workers often hit the gym before they make their way to the office. They’ll need a place to freshen up before the day ‘officially begins’.

Kids play area

Employees have families, as do potential visitors. And not everyone can bring in a babysitter or find a daycare. Having am on-site kids play area in a commercial property isn’t that unusual. Shopping centres have done it before, and the trend is slowly spreading to gyms and workplaces.

Kitchenette

Definitely a feature that will attract tenants. They need a place to keep their food, make their coffee and take a break from their desks. The kitchen is where you can make money in terms of the plant and equipment items in place there. This includes the dishwasher, espresso machine, microwave, sink and fittings.

Outdoor entertaining

Humans need sunlight and fresh air; what better way to access it at work than an outdoor area? When you’re renovating the property/making an extension, turn the extension into a patio with some hedges, a barbecue and some outdoor furniture. The barbecue and the furniture can be depreciated.

TVs

Yes, we are giving you an excuse to go out and buy some big screen televisions. Modern properties have a showreel on their TV screens, usually placed in the foyer and meeting rooms.

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Read this to increase the value of your commercial investment property

Residential properties that guarantee an ROI

Depreciation And Real Estate Mistakes That Will Lose You Money

Mistakes are part of life, but you’ll be kicking yourself if they lose you money. Make sure you avoid the ones below.

Rent at mates rates

It’s natural to want to help your mates out; it’s what friends do. But there are some situations where mates rates should not apply, and that includes property. The reason investors get into the property market is because they want to make an income. Friends can certainly live in properties you own, but be firm when you say they must pay rent. You’re running a business, not a charity.

Don’t mix business with mates; you can’t be a friend and a land lord

Depreciation DIY

Don’t attempt this unless you’re a quantity surveyor. These people work out costings for building projects and have a high level of education. They’re part of an official body (Australian Institution of Quantity Surveyors) that ensures members are aware of the latest industry standards and participate in the training required to keep up their skillset.

Long story short; unless you have a Bachelor of Urban Development (Honours) (Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering), leave it to the experts. Book an appointment here to get a qualified surveyor in for a visit.

Saying ‘that’s not worth anything’

Just because some of the properties have a few decades on them doesn’t mean they aren’t worthless. Some capital works are still eligible for deductions.

Items that are worth $300 or less are eligible for immediate deduction; think the rubbish bins, smoke alarms, children’s play equipment and the curtains. Other overlooked deductions include spa baths, bathroom and kitchen appliances and even the swimming pool are items that can be claimed on a tax depreciation schedule.

Old doesn’t equal worthess

Putting it in the wrong category

Yes, this is one of the dangers of DIY depreciation. In the schedules that quantity surveyors create, there’s two categories; capital works and plant and equipment. They’re also known as Divisions 43 and 40, respectively.

Capital works include items that are built into the property itself; wiring, driveways, fences and some landscaping. Plant and equipment include things you can easily remove from the property such as furniture and carpeting. If you own a commercial property the desks, blinds and shelves can be claimed. You can find out more about deductions on the ATO website.

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Behave like a 1% property investor with these tips

Common Errors Property Investors Should Avoid

Property Sector Warned About ATO Crackdown On Tax Depreciation Claims

Over recent years, the ATO has paid growing attention to tax returns submitted by tax payers relating to investment properties.

It is therefore highly likely that the Australian Taxation Office will pay particular attention to tax depreciation reports for investment properties when property investors submit their tax return from 1 July.

In particular, they may pay particular attention to tax depreciation reports that are prepared without a physical inspection of the property.

Unfortunately, a growing number of tax deprecation companies are not undertaking physical inspection of properties to cut costs and this failure could result in serious problems for their clients if they are audited.

If you are a property investor and plan to visit your tax accountant regarding your tax return from 1 July, you should raise the issue of tax depreciation and obtaining an ATO compliant tax depreciation schedule for your property or properties.

It is important to raise with your accountant the fact that desktop estimates of potential tax depreciation benefits are not accepted by the ATO and that a physical inspection of the property is required.

Accountants need to protect the interests of their clients by ensuring that the tax deprecation company they recommend to their client, conducts a physical inspection of the property.

The same principle applies to other professionals related to the property sector such as mortgage brokers who refer their clients to a tax deprecation company. Similarly, they should check if the tax deprecation company undertakes a physical inspection of the investment property before making a referral.

This is a simple check but one which could ensure that their client does not have to pay substantial penalty fees imposed by the ATO because the tax deprecation report is not compliant.

Overall, it is still unfortunate fact that a large number of tax payers who own investment properties will collectively miss out on millions of dollars in tax depreciation benefits over the coming weeks simply because they do not correctly claim them through lack of knowledge.

DEPPRO estimates that only one in five residential investors make use of the tax depreciation entitlements which are available to all investors on all investment properties.

Many property investors who have owned their properties for several years and have not undertaken a tax depreciation schedule still have the potential to claim back thousands of dollars in tax depreciation benefits.

A depreciation schedule can be undertaken at any time by a property investor. If you own a property for a number of years, you can still undertake a depreciation schedule and put in an adjusted tax return to enable them to obtain unclaimed tax depreciation benefits.

Most investors do not realize that tax benefits obtained through depreciation can be equivalent to 60% of the total purchase price of the property.

For a new apartment in a capital city, for example, this can equate to over $300,000 in possible tax benefits through depreciation.

You should engage the services of a tax deprecation company who will undertake an inspection of your property and provide you with an ATO compliant tax depreciation report which you can provide to your accountant.

This report is a ‘once off’ and will outline the amount of tax benefits you can claim on an annual basis. Anyone considering employing a tax depreciation company should ensure that they are a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS).

Obtaining a tax depreciation schedule that is compliant with ATO guidelines is a small investment that can deliver a huge financial return and boost cash flows during a time when rents throughout Australia are under downward pressure.

property investor

Tax depreciation, property investment and our other greatest hits; 2017 in review

2017 was a year of rising property prices, people educating themselves about property investment, and a massive change in tax depreciation laws. We’ve collected some of the best articles that hit our news section in 2017 and bring them to you here.

The release of the 2017-18 Federal Budget sent investors into a tailspin, and for good reason. It doesn’t matter if you buy commercial properties or homes to let. These changes apply to everyone.

smashed avo and property invesment

It’s the debate that just won’t die! A scathing critique by property expert Tim Gurner about Millenial’s ability to save for their first home became a repeat headline over the year. Now smashed avocado is a tangible comparison to property prices. We even found a ‘luxuries’ calculator showing people how much a house deposit is equal to in yoga classes, trips abroad, and takeaway coffees.

When a mate tells you they invest in property, the likelihood is they’ll only have one or two items in their portfolio. Less than one percent of investors have diverse holdings of six or more assets. If you want to emulate the one percent, educate yourself here.

It’s common practice to buy a home, renovate it, sell for a profit and then repeat the cycle all over again. From curb appeal to the garage, we found 8 inspiring builds and overhauls to help your project along.

From an apartment block built for retirees in South Australia to a two bed, two bath home with a pool in the Northern Territory. We found properties from each state that you could snap up for half a million dollars or less (at the time the article was published).

Tax depreciation specialists, accountants, and property managers are part of your team when you get into the game. Use this article to give yourself a basic understanding about what a great manager should do before you go hiring that guy off Gumtree.

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tax depreciation schedule

Depreciation rules for your rental property | Articles from around the web

Confused about depreciation rules for your rental property? Did you even know there were rules in the first place? Depreciation, tax and claims processes are large and confusing mazes, so we gathered articles from around the web that make things crystal clear.

The One Depreciation Law Change You Absolutely Need To Know by Deppro

Investors who hold both commercial and residential properties were thrown for a loop in May 2017. Starting from July, the beginning of the new financial year, the Federal Budget came into effect with new depreciation rules. These rules affect what owners can claim which in turn claims how much they get back over time.

How Rental Property Depreciation Works by Investopedia

Investopedia is a useful website both novices and experts can refer to. The page linked above goes into the basics of depreciation such as how it’s calculated and when it ‘begins’. Hint: it’s not actually after the settlement date.

Make sure you’re square before the tenants move in

Top 10 tips to help rental property owners avoid common tax mistakes by the ATO

Rental property owners must navigate complicated tax rules. Not navigating them correctly leads to costly penalties. To help the common Australian investor, the ATO made a top 10 list of tax mistakes to avoid. These include what type of expenses to claim, as well as the right portion of costs and how to keep the right records.

If you need a printout to have on your nightstand, there’s a PDF available to download.

Claiming Depreciation on Investment Property: The property investor’s complicated friend by Investor Assist

This page is a one-stop-shop for investors wanting to know more about the process. There’s an uncomplicated list of depreciation rules, definitions and examples of what assets you can claim.

The page also describes the methods used to calculate depreciation costs, prime cost vs. diminishing value. But the quantity surveyor handles these calculations, not the investor. Once the values are worked out they go into the depreciation report. This crucial investment tool is recommended at the end of the page as the final step of claiming depreciation on an investment property.

Need more advice? Read these:

  1. Rentvesting: a forgotten way to own and rent at the same time
  2. Behave like a 1% investor with these tips

The one depreciation law change you absolutely need to know

The 2017/18 Federal Budget brought about some changes that directly affect investors looking at properties to buy in the future. Starting from May 9th 2017, the ability to claim depreciation on certain assets has changed.

From July 1, 2017, the Government will limit plant and equipment depreciation deductions to outlays actually incurred by investors in residential real estate properties.

So what does this mean?

When you buy a property from a previous investor, you can’t claim the plant and equipment deductions. Capital works aren’t affected, so you can still earn money back from this.

Plant and equipment are the ‘easily removable’ items located in the property such as bins, white goods and any other furniture that you bought for the home. Remember  that anything $300 or less can instantly get written off as an expense.

I bought a property before the May 9th announcement

Then you’re in the clear. You can still claim plant and equipment depreciation if you settled the home before 7:30 pm on May 9th.

If you settled after, then unfortunately you’re out of luck. It doesn’t matter if those taps or that couch are a few months old. To claim, you must ‘incur the expense’ yourself.

So what CAN I do?

Capital works depreciation is still claimable, so investor’s don’t totally lose out. You can also pay less capital gains tax when the property sells for a profit. Simply subtract the resale value of the plant and equipment from the time of purchase to how much it’s valued by the time you sell.

Purchase value – resale value = CGT offset

Investor’s won’t have to do the maths themselves, however. The quantity surveyor writes these calculations on the depreciation schedule.

Do I need to rethink my investment strategy?

You certainly need to scrutinise potential purchases a lot more closely. Your aim is to generate income from a rental property, whether commercial or residential. There’ll always be a debt and recovery period before you make a profit. With the new law changes, investors will look at new homes now more than ever over second-hand properties.

tax return

This is how to get your best tax return yet

Tax-time isn’t something to fear if you have your affairs in order. At the end of it you get something even better: a tax refund! The ease of filing your your tax return depends on you and how you handle your affairs. The amount you get back depends on what you know you can claim. We have some advice to help you handle both.

Deppro handles property depreciation reports, not tax, but we know a thing or two about the latter. ‘Tax depreciation’ is the same thing as property depreciation. It’s part of your annual taxable income.

The cost of a depreciation schedule is actually fully deductible, along with whatever depreciation amount you can claim that year. That’s more money going back into your bank account!

Investment property is a source of income, and you must list it on your tax return. Depreciation is the ‘extra’ essential that can push you further to your goal. Imagine paying off your loan or now having the potential to buy another property. Depreciation earns investors tens of thousands of dollars over the time they hold the assets in their portfolio. That’s just for one property. Imagine being in the 1% club and having six or more.

To get your best-ever tax return, you need your accountant on your side. You would’ve handed over your tax depreciation report to them, anyway. It’s their job to file a return that gets you the best amount back possible.

Before you meet with them, it’s possible to estimate how much you’ll get back. The ATO releases a new edition of their tax return estimator every year, and it’s free to use. You need:

  • Your PAYG statement (for gross income and tax withheld)
  • A list of your tax offsets and what you can claim
  • Calculation of your Medicare levy
  • To know your residency

If your numbers are accurate and you have the correct information, what you get from your accountant won’t be much different. If at all.

To get your best-ever tax return, you must be organised. When the end of financial year comes, you need these tools in order to claim:

  • Your accountant
  • PAYG statement
  • Depreciation report
  • List of tax offsets

Not all tools are free, but they pay for themselves in the end thanks to that amazing tax refund!